Homemade Tomato Sauce: Fresh From the Garden

This past weekend we delighted in the most beautiful Fall weather. Sunshine. Warmth. Light breeze. It was perfect for getting outside. Thank goodness. The weather was fixin’ to take a turn for the worst come Monday. Snow. Cold. Yuck! Taking advantage of a beautiful weekend pre-snow and cold I got right to work harvesting veggies, covering plants I hoped to weather the storm, and setting up heaters inside the greenhouse. BUT – not before I got some homemade tomato sauce rendering on the stove!!

I intentionally planted Roma tomatoes in garden 2017 for the purpose of making tomato sauce. Roma’s have fewer seeds and are the best option for sauces (though, I’ve most definitely used other tomato varieties for sauces in the past and they work too!). I thought three plants would do it but have learned this season that it takes a lot, a LOT, A LOT of tomatoes for tomato sauce. Next year I’ll plan accordingly.

Anyway, tomato sauce is wonderful to have on hand as a base for homemade pasta sauce, soups, or for the whole host of casserole recipes calling for this ingredient. Always a lover of having these types of things on hand, and homemade when all possible; one goal for this season was to master canning tomato sauce!


Supplies Needed (with links to purchase items missing from your on-hand equipment/supplies)

canning jars – I used pint  size, but, of course, quart size are good too
jar rings and lids– I re-use my jars and rings but the flats, for sure, have to be replaced each time (regular lids, wide-mouth lids)
pots -n- pans – one stock pot and sauce pan(s)
-knife and cutting board

hot bath 
jar lifter tongs 
food mill
measuring spoons
tomatoes (LOTS of tomatoes)
bottled lemon juice

Homemade Tomato Sauce: Instructions

Homemade tomato sauce starts out with the very same instructions as making tomato juice. I blogged all about that several years ago – Tomato Juice.

  1. follow the steps to make tomato juice (link above)
  2. once the juice is made, set the pan on med-low/low heat and allow the juice to simmer. Stir occasionally.
    Note: this step takes HOURS. A low and slow simmer will cause the juice to render down, thickening as it goes
  3. Once sauce has reached your desired consistency, pour in to hot, sterilized jars
  4. Add lemon juice and salt (Pint size: 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt. Quart size: 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp salt)
  5. Warm lids and screw down tightly
  6. Load jars into hot bath and process for 20 min (check processing time for your altitude and adjusting also for the size of the jars you selected)
  7. Remove from hot bath, allow to cool, label and move to storage

Note: if you prefer not to can your tomato sauce, freezing is certainly an option. Add the salt. Skip the lemon juice. Divvy among freezer safe containers and pop in the freezer.

Give it a go and let me know how it turns out!



Photo Credits:
Photo by Davies Designs on Unsplash
Photo by Chad Stembridge on Unsplash

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